We are running a number of large Oracle Spatial projects at Ordnance Survey, which are part of our major investment programme to update key elements of our back office systems for managing our geodata.
This week it appeared that one of our Oracle contractors was to be pulled off the project to work elsewhere (you get used to this working with vendor contractors) – now this guy has really detailed knowledge of how Oracle Spatial works at the database level – he is one of that rare breed an Oracle Spatial DBA.
Now we have fortunately a very good strategic relationship with Oracle and we were able to get them to change their mind and the guy is still with us – but there is a deeper underlying problem here – where do you find skilled people who understand Oracle Spatial ?
There is a massive skills shortage in this area, Oracle itself has limited resources, there are a few independent consultants with some knowledge at a architectural level, but we really need people who understand the unique nuts and bolts of partitioning a spatial database !
And don’t rely of these people coming out of universities very few MSc courses seem to have caught up with the fact that increasing GIS is a corporate database activity, not a cartography specialism, and few courses expose they students to spatial database technology.
This really has to change !